Thursday, 02 April, 2020

Coronavirus concerns sidelines aircraft carrier to Guam

Five more sailors aboard aircraft carrier test positive for coronavirus Three US sailors test positive for virus on aircraft carrier
Deanna Wagner | 27 March, 2020, 00:41

By Thursday the number of infected mounted to about two dozen, prompting Navy officials to dock the ship to test all sailors.

Gilday said he expected additional positive tests to emerge after the large scale testing of the ship's crew begins and that any sailors who test positive will be transported to U.S. Naval Hospital Guam for further examination.

Modly said the carrier could do a small amount of the testing of samples taken from crew members for the virus, but that the Navy was looking into which other labs could do the tests.

The USS Theodore Roosevelt was in the middle of a deployment to the Philippine Sea area when eight sailors tested positive.

There has been a coronavirus outbreak aboard a deployed US Navy aircraft carrier, and the situation is getting worse.

Pentagon officials said Wednesday they expect the rate of infection to increase among service members in the coming weeks, but are not able to project more than about three weeks into the future.

At an earlier Pentagon briefing on Thursday, Thomas Modly, the acting secretary of the Navy, told reporters that the increase in infected sailors would lead to testing of the ship's entire crew.

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"We are trending higher", Modly said, adding it was too early to say why that was the case.

Pentagon officials have stressed that the USA ships are not set up for quarantining patients and say the close quarters makes it easy for viruses to spread.

"Aches and pains, and sore throats, but nothing that required hospitalization", he said. "Both of those go hand in glove".

"It would be hard to tie down these active cases to that particular port visit", he said.

At that time, the number of cases in the country was low and all were in the northern part of the country away from the port.

"No base or regional personnel will access the pier", Gilday said. The Pentagon has reported 321 cases of coronavirus, including 174 active-duty personnel, 59 civilians, 61 dependents, and 27 contractors, as of Tuesday.

A Navy official later confirmed the number as of Thursday was 23 cases on board the carrier, as was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.